New Delhi – Indian Way of Business

October 30, 2005

Hotel Bajrang 100 Rs

The day is getting normal on the second day after the bomb last night. In the morning, people still discussed the about what happened last night, and almost all TVs were showing news about the bombs. “We have helped them (Pakistan) for the earthquake, but why they still kill us?”, an ordinary worker in Delhi screamed, emotionally.

The road of the main bazaar is for sure quieter, as the open market just like being removed away from the area. The government prohibited open market in this area apparently. And for sure, the harassments towards foreigners from the road sellers and rickshaw drivers was much less. The road was just quiet, clean, and had very different atmosphere from the people.

When the afternoon comes, the live in Paharganj is getting about normal again. Shops are getting busier. Just witnessed how strange the Indians shopkeepers dealing with their business. I tried to bargain for a pair of trousers, and  complained that the trousers were too long and asked the owner to give alteration without any further additional cost. When I bargained quite politely, suddenly the shopkeeper said, in broken English, “OK, you speak over. My turn!” It seems that he just didnt want to take the responsibility of making alteration, and he just wanted to sell the trousers as soon as possible.

“You come short, not my fault!” said the shopkeeper.

The buyer-to-be left suddenly the shop, angered. I was even prepared to pay already, but after heard this sentence I just left away. I do really wonder how they can maintain their business with such an attitude.

Another thing is that almost everybody assumed that all Asian faced foreigners are Japanese, or at least Korean. The rickshaw wallah, shop owners, etc always assume that all Asians speak Japanese, and always greet (for me, harass) people with “Hello, Konnichiwa!”. I always ignore the harassments, and I am really annoyed to be addressed as hello or to be assumed as Japanese. Really tired of this. Some even started with “Hello… Sayoonara!!!” (seems that he confused konnichiwa and sayonara) and we replied “OK! Sayonara to you!” and just left him alone.

And they DO really like to ask the country of origin, and always begin to guess by asking “Japanese?” OMG, why there should be Japanese on earth, and why we all have to have the fate to be treated like Japanese??? My friend screamed, “No, Burkina Faso!!!!”  The tout suddenly became quiet, “Oh, Faso Faso….” and he left away. He didnt know at all about where on earth this country is, and just pretended to understand.
This friend told me that this case was really fortunate. When she tried once in Varanasi with Burkina Faso, the rickshaw walla replied, “OK. So you are Japanese?”
“No! Burkina Faso!”
“OK, so you are Korean!” the rickshaw driver said

And now I do really recall my knowledge about African and Pacific countries name, to override the further harassments from this curious crowd.

About Agustinus Wibowo

Agustinus is an Indonesian travel writer and travel photographer. Agustinus started a “Grand Overland Journey” in 2005 from Beijing and dreamed to reach South Africa totally by land with an optimistic budget of US$2000. His journey has taken him across Himalaya, South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. He was stranded and stayed three years in Afghanistan until 2009. He is now a full-time writer and based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Contact: Website | More Posts

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